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Walking to Transit on Capitol Hill

Note from SNG Executive Director Gordon Padelford: People who live on Capitol Hill love to walk and they love to take transit. Thanks to the hard work of Central Seattle Greenways, it’s going to soon be easier to do both. Creating safe routes so that people can walk and bike to transit lines and hubs is a strategy that we’re working on with our local groups across the city.

By David Seater, co-leader of Central Seattle Greenways:

The East-West John/Thomas Street corridor across Capitol Hill is a key street for accessing transit, hosting Metro’s frequent routes 8 and 10, and providing a direct connection to Sound Transit’s Capitol Hill Station. Unfortunately, today the corridor is difficult and dangerous for people on foot to cross at the many intersections lacking traffic lights. Along the corridor parked cars near intersections make visibility poor so many people driving fail to yield to people walking across the unmarked crosswalks. John and Thomas are wide streets, leading to high vehicle speeds and long crossing distances. This makes it hard to access bus stops along the corridor and to travel north-south across the corridor to the many parks, businesses, and homes on Capitol Hill.

Trying to Walk Across E John St

In 2016, we proposed installing curb bulbs at the unsignalized intersections along the corridor in order to reduce crossing distances, improve visibility for people attempting to cross, and lower vehicle speeds. We won funding for these improvements when the Levy to Move Seattle Oversight Committee selected this project through SDOT’s Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) program, noting that the corridor had the highest collision rate of all the projects being considered. The NSF program operates on a three year cycle. Projects were selected in 2016, continue through the design process in 2017, and will be constructed in 2018.

Working collaboratively with SDOT, we arrived at a design that fit within the $1 million scope of NSF project while still providing safety improvements at every unsignalized intersection along the one mile corridor from Broadway to 23rd Ave E. In general, the design provides concrete curb bulbs at all four corners of every intersection that includes a bus stop, while using less expensive flex-posts and paint to create curb bulbs at the other intersections. Early in the process, a separate Neighborhood Park & Street Fund project was folded into the design to include a flashing crosswalk beacon at E John St & 10th Ave E.

image of improvements

SDOT also coordinated with King County Metro, which was planning improvements in the corridor for route 8. Metro joined the project as a funding partner, increasing the scope of the project to relocate the westbound bus stop at Broadway to be nearer the light rail station entrance and adding large bus bulbs at E Olive Way & Summit Ave E, E John St & 10th Ave E, and E Thomas St at 16th Ave E and 19th Ave E. As the design process continues, the team is hopeful that there will be sufficient funding to include concrete curb bulbs at E Thomas St & 18th Ave E, proposed as a crossing for the future Central Ridge Neighborhood Greenway.

Most recently, SDOT announced that they’ll be installing a left-turn signal at the busy intersections of E Olive Way / E John St & Broadway E. This is a fantastic development that will help make this dangerous and confusing intersection a safer place for people walking, biking, taking transit, or driving, and supports the 2017 SNG priority for District 3, addressing some of the difficulties that Central Seattle Greenways identified in our 2016 audit of the station area.
We look forward to continuing to work with SDOT as the design for this corridor is finalized and construction begins next year.

If you value our work, please donate to keep us going.

Neighbors Celebrate New Safe Routes to 3 Schools

Safe streets advocacy can be a long, arduous haul. But sometimes we just get to throw our hands up in the air and shout “YES!! We did this!!” On August 27 we celebrated a key step in knitting North Seattle neighborhoods together, easing walking and biking between east and west, and bringing critical safety improvements to the routes to and from three newly-opened schools. Our ribbon-cutting gathering of 100+ neighbors took a moment on a sunny afternoon to cheer, in all: a protected bike lane on North 92nd Street; a new mixed-use trail running along the multi-school complex and connecting two parts of 92nd; and a new bike and pedestrian signal on 92nd at Aurora Ave North.

92nd trail ribbon cutting compressedIdentifying a familiar problem in Seattle: fragmented, disconnected neighborhoods

It’s endemic across the city: a lack of safe and comfortable east-west routes for walking and biking. In 2012, Northend neighbors began gathering to talk about the safety and mobility issues of their local streets. To start, they identified three major issues fragmenting their neighborhoods:

  • For seven blocks between North 90th Street and North 97th Street there had been no east-west through-route connecting Aurora with Wallingford, College Way, and North Seattle College. A traveler on foot or bike had to wind one’s way on several discontinuous streets.
  • In the 30 blocks between North 80th Street and Northgate Way, the only option for crossing I-5 by bike or foot was at the North 92nd Street overpass. And efforts to go west from there had been frustrating — 92nd Street was discontinuous between Ashworth Ave North and Stone Way North. To continue to the west one had to jog to North 90th  Street or North 85th Street. Due to heavy traffic, those east-west streets weren’t conducive to biking or walking and the intersections of those streets at Aurora were two of the most dangerous intersections on the state highway.
  • Aurora Avenue (SR 99) is a traffic moat that splits several northern neighborhoods. With few signalized crossings, major traffic activity, and frequent injury collisions — it’s simply unsafe for biking and walking.

The safety challenges surrounding North 92nd Street and Aurora Ave were about to get worse. In 2013, Seattle Public Schools applied for permits to build three schools for 1,660 K-8 students on one multi-block campus — located on North 90th Street between Stone Way North and Wallingford Avenue North, a block east of Aurora. The safety issues were plain to see: many of the students in the schools’ catchment area would have to cross Aurora and I-5; and neighborhood-street traffic would increase considerably on 92nd Street east of the schools, and on 90th Street, in front of the schools.

Local SNG volunteer Lee Bruch said, “It was critical – something had to be done.”

SNG Coalition Groups Take the Lead on Safety Solutions

New trail compressed

Licton-Haller Greenways and Greenwood-Phinney Greenways took the initiative and led community groups, including Licton Springs Community Council, Aurora Licton Urban Village alliance on a multi-prong approach.

They studied the situation and identified needs and alternatives, and proposed and prioritized solutions. The highest priorities included:

  • Make North 92nd Street a safer and continuous east-west link from the Maple Leaf/ Northgate neighborhoods on the east of I-5 through to Greenwood and Crown Hill to the west.  Solution:  Make 92nd a traffic-calmed greenway where possible; and where it’s a main arterial across I-5, create protected bike lanes.
  • 92nd was discontinuous behind the schools; the school site extended across what normally would have been the 92nd Street right-of-way.  Solution:  Convince the schools, the city’s development permit reviewers, and SDOT to establish a multi-use trail across school property to link both portions of 92nd.
  • Create a pedestrian signal at 92nd and Aurora, complete with right-in right-out diverters. Solution:  obtain funding and convince WSDOT and SDOT to implement it.
  • Improve safety on North 90th Street in front of the schools, including providing new marked crosswalks and RRFB’s (rectangular rapid flashing beacons).  Solution: obtain funding and convince SDOT to implement it.
  • Create traffic calming on streets surrounding the schools.  Solution: obtain funding and convince SDOT to implement it.

Effective Community Organizing — Seattle Neighborhood Greenways-Style

The SNG neighborhood groups began a concerted effort in late 2014 that is still ongoing — creating concern and interest amongst the neighborhood, community groups, decision makers, funding sources, and technical personnel.

Licton-Haller Greenways and Greenwood-Phinney Greenways volunteers began making presentations to the city’s development permit reviewers to affect terms of the permit. They approached the School Traffic Safety Committee for their support in convincing the school district and SDOT to create the missing link trail behind the schools. They held a series of on-site Safe Routes to School audits by Greenways members, parents, and members of SDOT and the School Traffic Safety Committee and produced a substantial study documenting their findings. They  held separate personalized walks for three councilmembers and continually lobbied them and their staffs. They participated in a Find It Fix It walk with the mayor and city department heads and lobbied them. They leveraged their working relationship with the staff in SDOT’s Safe Routes to Schools and greenways groups.

speed humps 92nd donghoBuilding Community Will … and Locating the Funding Too!

In 2015, the SNG groups applied for Neighborhood Park and Street Fund and Neighborhood Street Fund grants. They weren’t successful. They redoubled their efforts, adjusting as needed, and in 2016 applied again —  this time winning part of the funding. Critically, their timing coincided with the citywide Move Seattle funding victory and with SDOT’s own greenways team getting ready to build out part of a network in north Seattle.

Lee Bruch: “By patching together various interests and various funding sources we got a partial victory.”

On August 27 this year, the SNG groups hosted dozens of kids and supporters celebrating the completion of the multi-use trail behind the schools, the completion of the protected bike lane on 92nd from Wallingford across I-5 to 1st Avenue NE, and the completion of the pedestrian signal at Aurora and 92nd.

But, as Lee says, “Our work isn’t done. There’s lots of advocacy, monitoring, and cajoling still needed.”

Safety provisions on North 90th Street and on Stone Way North adjacent to the schools have been planned, but are still not implemented – kids still must dart across the street to and from their school, without crosswalk markings and without the promised RRFB’s.  And the North Seattle greenways network is not yet totally planned. Hope are they’ll be implemented in 2018.

If you value our work, please donate to keep us going.

92nd: One Street To Unite Us All

August 1, 2017

Dedicated leaders in Licton Haller Greenways, Greenwood Phinney Greenways, Ballard Greenways, NW Greenways, Maple Leaf Greenways, and the Aurora Licton Urban Village (ALUV) all had a hand in promoting critical pieces of connected street for people.

Thanks to connected, dedicated, long-term community work, 92nd is a protected, safe street that goes from Holman Road, across Aurora Avenue North, and across I-5,

Lee Bruch and GPGW

Celebrate with a ribbon cutting and kids bike parade!  Facebook Event Page

Join community, friends, and families opening a new walk bike pathway to school
N 92nd and Ashworth Ave N
Sunday, August 27 from 2 to 3:30 PM

bike ribbon cutting

People who’ve lived in Seattle for a while know how difficult it is to travel east to west. Maybe it is because of the steep hills that define our neighborhoods.

Because of the work of multiple local groups, there is a new way for people who walk and bike to go from east to west on NW/N/NE 92nd (the street changes its prefix as it travels). Here are some of the many groups and people who contributed to this safe street corridor.

  • Ballard Greenways champion Selena Cariostis proposed a signalized crossing of Holman Road NW at 92nd NW to get to Whitman Middle School. Her project was awarded more than $1 million in Move Seattle Levy funds and a signalized crossing will be built in 2018.
  • Greenwood Phinney Greenways (GPGW) leader Justin Martin and Forrest Baum from NW Greenways set up scouting rides with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to find optimal east-west streets for people who walk and bike through the north Greenwood area to Greenwood Ave N. Their greenway recommendations will be part of the north end safe routes connections.
  • Robin Randels, Teresa  Damaske from GPGW joined up with Lee Bruch and Suzi Zook of Licton Haller Greenways to scout the best place to way to cross Aurora Ave N.
  • Led by Lee Bruch, these groups all teamed up with Jan Brucker at Aurora Licton Urban Village to get a traffic signal  funded at 92nd and Aurora. Because Aurora is a state highway, these groups also sat down at multiple meetings with the Washington Department of Transportation.
  • Getting Seattle Public Schools to support a walk-bike trail to Cascade and Eagle Staff Schools on 92nd was a multi-year effort of Cathy Tuttle from SNGreenways.
  • Brock Howell and Ian Strader from Maple Leaf Greenways and Janine Blaeloch, Monica Sweet, and Dai Toyama from Lake City Greenways helped to convince SDOT to join up the I-5 crossing to the new protected bike lanes stretching along N/NE 92nd.
  • SDOT staff managed projects all along this corridor including Dongho Chang, Darby Watson, Mark Bandy, Brian Dougherty, Ashley Rhead, Serena Lehman, Dawn Schellenberg, and Dan Anderson.
  • Eagle Staff and Cascade PTSA leader James Dailey is motivating the school community to walk & bike to school.
  • Seattle City Councilmembers Debra Juarez and Mike O’Brien attended several community policy walks.

It really takes a village — or in this case multiple villages — to build safe, connected streets.

Join us in celebration August 27!

92nd map

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Multimodal Corridors

Sign up to get involved or learn more

Move Seattle funded Multimodal Corridors

Move Seattle funded Multimodal Corridors

What is the problem?

Many of the flattest, best streets to get around town are currently not prioritized for people walking, biking, or taking transit.

What is the solution and opportunity (the 2017 priority)?

Madison St, Delridge Way SW, and Rainier Ave S are all being re-imagined and re-designed in 2017. You have an opportunity to help shape the future of these corridors to make sure they are easy to walk and bike along, and across.

How can you get involved?

Campaign Updates

  • Madison: Sign the petition to tell the Seattle Department of Transportation to fund and build a safe route for people to bike as part of the Madison Rapid Ride project.
  • Delridge: We are discussing design tradeoffs on the Delridge Way SW corridor with West Seattle Bike Connections, the Seattle Department of Transportation, Transportation Choices Coalition and Cascade Bicycle Club.
  • Rainier: The Rainier Ave SW multimodal corridor projects relates to the Accessible Mt Baker and Rainier Ave Safety Corridor project, both of which we have supported extensively in the past and will continue to support.

2017 Priorities

Our Priorities for 2017

  • Fund Vision Zero: Work to double the funding for the Vision Zero budget so that all our communities can get much needed safety improvements. Learn more
  • Multimodal CorridorsCollaborate with transit advocates to create walking, biking, and transit improvements for the Move Seattle multimodal corridors.
  • Tactical Urbanism: Help people make quick and bold safety improvements that build livable streets.
  • District 1: Connect Georgetown to South Park.
  • District 2: Extend the Rainier Ave Safety Corridor Project north and south.
  • District 3: Make it easier and safer to walk and bike to and from the Capitol Hill light rail station.
  • District 4: Safe and dignified crossings of I-5
  • District 5: Make walking and biking to light rail possible.
  • District 6: Make the 83rd and Greenwood intersection, the gateway to Greenwood, safe for families to cross.
  • District 7: Connect Uptown, South Lake Union, and beyond.

Volunteer and donate to help make these priorities a reality in 2017!

 

Sanctuary Cities, Federal funding, Vision Zero

January 27, 2017

Dear Mayor Murray and Seattle City Council,

One America SNG letter 1.27.17

Click for full document

The purpose of this letter is to express our support for the Mayor’s declaration of Seattle as a Sanctuary City, committed to shielding undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation and family separation. President Trump has expressed his intent through executive order to punish sanctuary cities by threatening to revoke their federal funding. Because of the City of Seattle’s principled stand, under some scenarios, the President’s position may put into question billions of federal dollars annually for infrastructure and other essential municipal services for Seattle and the region, which could in turn have a direct impact on projects and policies we have advocated for, together.

Our crumbling streets can be rebuilt later – our humanity cannot. In Seattle, we trust in our ability to draw on significant internal resources to continue to maintain and improve our street infrastructure while we continue to protect and welcome people new to Seattle who come here from across the world.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition members are located throughout Seattle, from Lake City to Rainier Beach. As part of our organizing model, we ally and support those groups that bring neighbors together in positive, construc- tive gatherings and coalesce to defend basic human rights, including the work of One America. Immigrants are mem- bers of our coalitions and communities, and all of us deserve access to basic, safe infrastructure.

Immigrant and refugee communities have taken action to support community transportation improvements including the Move Seattle Levy. Recently One America and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways partnered on distributing “Hate Has No Home Here” multi-lingual yard signs. And sadly, immigrant communities are often our partners on Vision Zero Memorial Walks following traffic fatalities. Together, we strive to put people first in a manner that recognizes how creating a more equitable community can mean taking important risks.

We resolve to support people of color, children, the elderly, the other-abled, and the people who cannot afford to travel by means other than by transit, on foot or by bike. We will continue to do what we can to ensure their safety comes first, even–especially–as we face the possibility of an unsupportive federal administration. We will support Seattle in its efforts to protect and increase federal investments in critical transportation infrastructure needs. And we will oppose actions by federal authorities, like using the threat of cuts to federal funding to compel the City to undermine values that we cherish.

One of our active community members has taken to delivering flower bulbs by cargo bike, “because we’ll need to see signs of hope in the spring.” We will look to the spring of 2017 as a time to celebrate our diverse community.

Wishing you strength and happiness in 2017.

Rich Stolz, Executive Director One America

Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

 

2016 Year in Review

2016 Year in Review

Wow. 2016 was the biggest year yet for Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Thanks for everyone who made it possible, and here’s to even more progress 2017!

Jump to what interests you most:

Please don’t forget to donate to keep us going!


Safer Speed Limits for Seattle

Sixty years ago, Seattle’s streets were radically remade with the goal of moving vehicles as quickly as possible: sidewalks were narrowed, crosswalk beg buttons installed, an extensive streetcar system dismantled, low income homes bulldozed for roads, and speed limits increased. Ever since we have been paying dearly for these mistakes.

Today there were 30 crashes on Seattle’s streets. Same with yesterday, tomorrow, and every day on average. Every year 150 people suffer life altering injuries and 20 are killed from these crashes. Each serious injury and fatality is a story of tragedy for individuals, families, friends, and communities.

speed-limit-end-of-year-collageOne day, Brie Gyncild had had enough. Brie lives in the Central District, walks everywhere, loves cats, deeply cares about her community, and is a passionate advocate who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. At the annual meeting where our grassroots neighborhood group leaders set our priorities, Brie reminded us all that Vision Zero isn’t just a goal to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030, it’s a commitment to transform our streets into safe places for people. She persuaded us that the next step was safer speed limits.

One person can spark a movement. Because of Brie, in 2016 Seattle Neighborhood Greenways mobilized people just like you throughout the city to build support for safer speed limits by talking to their neighbors, community groups, and local business owners. By the end of the year 22 groups had sent the Mayor and City Council letters of support, dozens people testified to City Council, and hundreds who emailed or called in their support.

Our advocates continued to build positive support until the Mayor and City Council voted proposed and unanimously approved safer speed limits. Now all 2,400 miles of Seattle’s non-arterial streets are designated for 20 MPH, and all of Downtown’s streets have been designated for 25 MPH.

The story isn’t over yet. We all know that designating new speed limits isn’t enough – we must design our streets to be safe and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities. That’s why in 2017 one of our priorities is to increase funding for the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Vision Zero safety program. This is only one piece of the puzzle, another piece is you.

Please donate to keep us going, and join with our amazing volunteers as we work to make our streets safe and comfortable for all people.  

Thank you,

Cathy Tuttle and Gordon Padelford
Executive Director and Policy Director

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Low Income Schools Set Safety Priorities

We all want our children to be able to safely walk or bike to school. Unfortunately, there is limited funding for engineering safety improvements at all of our schools. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) interns Ranju Uezono and Raymond Pacheco led SNG outreach to very low income schools in 2016 to help prioritize spending in ways that were meaningful and effective to local communities.

20-is-plenty-at-rainier-view

SNG also worked with historically underserved school communities to develop a set of ideas, translated into 6 languages, of Low Cost Ideas for SDOT Mini Grants. Schools are now working on crossing flag programs, school patrols, walking audits, and other inexpensive but highly effective programs.

safe-routes-spanish

The SNG staff and interns also hosted assemblies, led walk audits, and met with parents and school staff to create a prioritized list of the investments that local people felt was most needed most to get their children to school safely. All of this work helped to shape the major projects being built with Move Seattle Levy funding by Seattle Department of Transportation at Seattle’s low income schools.

kids-breakfast

Read more about the SNG Safe Routes to School 2016 priority program here.

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Making the Case for Complete Streets

Roosevelt

Roosevelt Way was not easy for people to cross

In 2016 we advocated for policy and street projects that create safe access for all people.

On the policy side we worked to ensure that Seattle’s Comprehensive Master Plan (the highest level plan the city has), Right of Way Improvement Manaul (blue prints for street design), and other policies and plans supported complete streets.

After years of advocacy work by University Greenways we finally celebrated the opening of the Roosevelt Way complete street project. Originally SDOT planned to only repave the

Families open the Roosevelt Way Complete Street

Families open the Roosevelt Way Complete Street project. Photo by SBB

dangerous street, but we successfully advocated to include safety upgrades for people walking and biking. The biggest change you’ll see on the street if you visit is the new protected bike lane, curb bulbs to make it easier to walk across the street, and more happy families getting to where they need to go safetly.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, along with our local groups and partners, have been advocating for multimodal corridor projects to fund walking and biking improvements – not just transit. We worked on the Roosevelt-Downtown corridor and Madison BRT projects in 2016, and we will continue to make sure these and other projects truly work for everyone in 2017.

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 9 Highlights from West Seattle and the Duwamish Valley (District 1)

  1. The Duwamish Valley Safe Streets group got up and running! The Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition now has a fantastic group of committed neighbors and advocates in South Park and Georgetown.
    duwamish-valley-safe-streets
  2. The Duwamish Valley Safe Streets group helped shape the Georgetown Open Space Plan.
  3. Local group West Seattle Bike Connections successfully advocated for SDOT to begin working on a neighborhood greenway paralleling 35th Ave SW.
    35th-ave-sw-parallel-neighborhood-greenway
  4. West Seattle saw the completion of the Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway, and SNG conducted an audit work to fix some of the remaining issues.
  5. West Seattle won a Neighborhood Streets Fund grant for major improvements at the key intersection of SW Spokane St/ Alki Trail/ Harbor Ave SW/ SW Avalon Way.
    west seattle avalon harbor spokane st entrance NPSF
  6. West Seattle Bike Connections hosted a bike rodeo at Summer Parkways and helped host the Disaster Relief Trials.
  7. The SW Admiral Way safety project on the west side, including buffered bike lanes, new cross walks, narrower traffic lanes, and radar speed feedback signs was completed.
    west-seattle-admiral-way-bike-lanes
  8. West Seattle Bike Connections successfully campaigned to get full funding for the Fauntleroy Boulevard Project added to the 2017 budget. This project will make this currently dangerous corridor a safer place for people walking, biking, taking transit, and driving.
  9. West Seattle Bike Connections successfully campaigned to repair a problematic hazard spot on the Duwamish Trail.
    bicyclist-must-dismount-west-seattle
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Building the Base for Big Change in Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill (District 2)

Thanks to you we achieved three major wins in 2016 in Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill: full funding for the expansion of the Rainier Ave Safety project to Rainier Beach, acceleration Accessible Mt Baker, and funding to improve the Beacon Hill Town Center.

Fix Rainier Ave28446877014_832558fda3_k-760x507
Rainier Ave S has been Seattle’s most dangerous street for years. Rainier Valley Greenways worked for the second year in a row to make Rainier Ave S safe for people to walk and bike along and across. We sought to expand the safety corridor project, create safe crossings and build protected bike lanes from Hillman City to Columbia City.

A year after the implementation in Hillman and Columbia City, the data shows the Rainier Ave Safety Corridor Project is working: injuries for people walking and biking are down 41%, top end speeding is down 50% northbound and 84% southbound, and transit travel times haven’t changed southbound and have improved northbound.

But we knew there was more to be done. All neighborhoods in Rainier Valley deserve a safer Rainier Ave S, not just Columbia and Hillman City. That’s why we rallied with other neighborhood groups from Friends of Mt Baker Town Center to Rainier Beach Merchants Association to extend the safety corridor project. Thanks to your help, we successfully worked with Bruce Harrell to get a million dollars added for the project to the City’s budget!

Accessible Mt Baker

We worked with the Friends of Mt Baker Town Center and the Mt Baker Hub Business Association to successfully accelerate funding for the exciting community building and safety project, Accessible Mt Baker. Accessible Mt Baker will fix this nasty and dangerous intersection. It will make it easier to catch the bus, bike to downtown, and walk across the street to the light rail station or high school.

accessible-mt-baker

 

Beacon Hill Town Center

beacon-hill-painted-curb-bulb

Beacon Hill Safe Streets got interim safety improvements in front of the library and transit station

Beacon Hill Safe Streets successfully advocated this year to improve the heart of North Beacon Hill. They worked with the Beacon Hill Merchants Association and the community to get the city to implement near term pedestrian safety improvements (the new curb bulbs by the library), create a transportation plan in 2017. Their efforts will make it safer to catch transit, easier to walk and bike to the library and stores, and create a thriving and accessible town center for all.

north-beacon-hill-town-center-concept

Beacon Hill Town Center concept

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8 Steps Forward for Capitol Hill, the Central District, and Madison Valley (District 3)

Thank you to everyone who helped our local groups take so many steps forward this year! We couldn’t have done it without everyone who volunteered for Central Seattle Greenways, Madison Greenways, or the First Hill Improvement Association. We hope you will continue to support this important work 2017, but first let’s reflect on what we accomplished together:

  1. Our proposed Columbia Neighborhood Greenway was built this year, providing an east-west connectivity in the Central District.
    columbia-greenway-sdot-map
  2. Thanks to our auditing and advocacy SDOT is planning to improve the Central North-South Neighborhood Greenway – such as smoothing jarring speed humps, correcting signs, and connecting it successfully to Montlake where it currently dead ends.
  3. Central Seattle Greenways worked with the cool community at Bailey Gatzert to win safe routes to school improvements. The curb bulb and stop sign change at 14th & Washington will make it much safer.
    bailey-gatzert-nsf
  4. The First Hill Improvement Association worked with a developer to include building and maintaining a public plaza Pavement To Parks project.

    Photo by SDOT

    Photo by SDOT

  5. Central Seattle Greenways won a grant to improve the crossing near the light rail station at 10th & John.
    10th-and-john-before-shot 10th-and-john-nsf
  6. Central Seattle Greenways own a grant to make it easier to walk across John/Thomas St. all from Broadway to 23rd Ave!
  7. Madison Park Greenways won grants for outreach and design for neighborhood greenways in Madison Valley.
    lake-washington-loop-greenway-map-sdot
  8. The Melrose Promenade, which Central Seattle Greenways helped get started, won funding from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

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Two Dads Take on I-5 Safety (District 4)

Two dads from NE Seattle Greenways have joined forces to make crossing I-5 safer for all (the SNG 2016 Priority for District 4).

Andres Salomon and Scott Cooper were awarded Northeast District Council support during the Neighborhood Park & Street Fund process in 2016.

14909893_1138946586188599_3778635642114659394_n-1

Andres and Scott know crossing i-5 is important for people of all ages walking to and from Green Lake Elementary, grocery stores, senior housing, Roosevelt High School, local business districts, and many other other important community assets. Andres and Scott know these community connections will become even more important when light rail opens in Roosevelt in 2021.

In addition to support from NE District Council, Andres and Scott have successfully lobbied WSDOT and SDOT to consider safety improvements over and under I-5 that use paint and posts to control traffic speeds.

More safe and dignified I-5 crossings in 2017 are being planned by the coalition that includes NE Seattle Greenways and neighbors who want to #Fix65th.

Find more details of their ideas here.

Thank you Scott and Andres

Roosevelt crossing map

Roosevelt crossing problem

Roosevelt crossing solution

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Making Connections Across North Seattle (District 5)

Lee Bruch from Licton Haller Greenways gathered a coalition of people from Greenwood Phinney Greenways, Aurora Licton Urban Village and other community groups that wanted to make sure 1600 kids had a safe way to walk to the new Robert Eagle Staff school opening in 2017. Their campaign center around safe routes to school along N 90th and 92nd Streets.

unnamed

Lee and his team did walking and biking audits, gave presentations to local councils, and reached out to neighbors. They found sympathetic staff at the Washington Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Seattle Public Schools who shared their vision.

eagle-staff-graphic

Licton-Haller Greenwood Phinney Greenways received both a Neighborhood Park & Street Fund and Neighborhood Street Fund award for their work. Their hard work resulted in more than $1 million for street improvements including a signal on Aurora Avenue North.
14963141_1139072889509302_2173069854900573305_n-1

In 2017, the coalition of District 5 safe streets groups is turning their attention to getting funding for safer routes to the new transit stations opening soon in Northgate, 130th N and 145th N. Stay tuned!

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Progress For NW Seattle (District 6)

In 2015 and 2016, Ballard Greenways made safer routes to school along 6th Ave NW their highest priority. Students at four elementary schools — Pacific Crest, West Woodland, Greenwood and St. John’s — would benefit from a north-south route on the eastern side of Ballard.safe-routes-to-school-along-6th-ave-nw

West Woodland neighbors led policy walks, talked to City staff and elected officials, and tried to get Neighborhood Park & Street funding for their safer route to schools.

6th-ave-nw-walking-audit

In 2015, Ballard Greenways leader, dad, and Alta Design & Planning landscape architect Chris Saleeba took a slightly different approach. He worked with a group of neighbors and business owners on a Tactical Urbanism project to let people in Ballard experience a safer route to local schools. Chris’s design won the first PARKing Day Plus Design Competition award and neighbors got to see a safer crossing at 6th Ave NW and NW 65th.

2nd Prize Winner 6th NW & NW 65th Street Crossing

2nd Prize Winner 6th NW & NW 65th Street Crossing

This year, Chris has been helping Seattle Department of Transportation to build this clever protected intersection permanently in the West Woodland Ballard neighborhood.

ballard-parking-day-protected-intersection

The D6 district, that also includes Greenwood-Phinney, is looking to make another protected intersection work better for people who walk and ride bikes at NW 83rd and Greenwood NW in 2017.

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7 Wins this year for Queen Anne, Uptown, and District 7

  1. Walking surges! Pedestrian commuters increased a stunning 50.2% reports the SeattleMet. And this isn’t starting from a small base: “people who walked to work went from a legit 29,070 (8.6 percent of all commuters) in 2010 to 43,665 (nearly 11 percent) in 2015.” Thank you for your work to make our streets more walkable – it’s working!
    walking-in-slu
  2. Queen Anne Greenways successfully advocated for the city to build the direct connection between the Westlake bike path and the Mercer St underpass. This connection will be built when the property that is currently owned by the city between 9th and Dexter is redeveloped. We also applied for a grant to upgrade the Roy St bike lane, but were unsuccessful this year. cascade-uptown-mercer-segment

    mercer-pbl-underpass-from-bike-blog

    Photo of Mercer St underpass by SBB

  3. The First Hill Improvement Association won a grant to make Freeway Park more accessible and welcoming.

    Freeway Park Entrances

    Freeway Park Entrances

  4. Queen Anne Greenways hosted a community building play street.
    hosted-a-play-street-2016
  5. Finally, the intersection at 7th and McGraw near Cole Elementary got some safety improvements – a wider crosswalk and curb.
    7th-and-mcgraw-widened-crosswalks-and-extended-curb
  6. We worked to make to incorporate safety improvements for people walking in the Nickerson St repaving.
  7. Last, but not least, Queen Anne Greenways continues to work with SDOT on designs to fix the scary 7-way intersection on Queen Anne.
    7-way-intersection-drawing

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Our Priorities for 2017

  • Vision Zero: Work to double the funding for the Vision Zero budget so that all our communities can get much needed safety improvements.
  • Multimodal Corridors: Collaborate with transit advocates to create walking, biking, and transit improvements for the Move Seattle multimodal corridors.
  • Tactical Urbanism: Help people make quick and bold safety improvements that build livable streets.
  • District 1: Connect Georgetown to South Park.
  • District 2: Extend the Rainier Ave Safety Corridor Project north and south.
  • District 3: Make it easier and safer to walk and bike to and from the Capitol Hill light rail station.
  • District 4: Safe and dignified crossings of I-5
  • District 5: Safe routes to transit stations from “coast to coast.”
  • District 6: Make the 83rd and Greenwood intersection, the gateway to Greenwood, safe for families to cross.
  • District 7: Safe east-west route between Uptown and South Lake Union.

Volunteer and donate to help make these priorities a reality in 2017!

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More funding for safe streets in City Budget. Thank you!

Here’s something to be thankful for today: Seattle City Council passed the final version of the 2017 budget with some fantastic improvements thanks to your support!

thank you 2016 budget advocates

Exciting budget additions include

  • $1 million to fix Rainier Ave S – the most dangerous street in the city, and an acceleration of funding for the exciting Accessible Mt Baker project.
  • Funding to create a North Beacon Hill Multimodal Transportation Study to allow much needed safety and community building projects to move forward.
  • Moving up the Bicycle Master Plan (Cascade Bicycle Club led the charge on this!) and Pedestrian Master Plan spending so we can design and build more safe streets sooner.
  • Additional funding for Safe Routes to School ($400,000 from red light cameras).
  • Directing SDOT to use best practices for streetcar & bike collision safety.
  • Other great improvements to the budget: Funding to conduct a condition assessment of Seattle’s $5.3 billion sidewalk system to support smart investments in sidewalk repairs, a new grant writer position to help SDOT leverage Move Seattle funding, and a section of sidewalk for the Meadowbrook neighborhood.

We wouldn’t have these successes without your calls, testimony, and letters! It’s caring people like you who make a difference in our world. Thank you.

If you can take a minute to thank our elected officials who listened to you, please email council@seattle.gov and thank them. Below is a sample email.

Dear Seattle City Council,

Thank you all for supporting safer streets in budget process. In particular thank you to

 

  • Council President Bruce Harrell for funding to fix Rainier Ave S, accelerate Accessible Mt Baker, and plan for a safe Beacon Hill Town Center.
  • Councilmember Lisa Herbold for finding additional funding for Safe Routes to School

 

  • Councilmember Mike O’Brien for the sidewalk assessment, SDOT grant writer, streetcar safety SLI, and accelerating the Bicycle Master Plan.
  • Councilmember Debora Juarez for a Meadowbrook sidewalk.
  • Councilmember Johnson for supporting many of these transportation budget additions.

 

Thank you for your leadership in making our streets safer for all people.

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you!

-Gordon Padelford

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Policy Director

Please consider a gift to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways if you want to support our successful, reliable, and impactful advocacy in 2017. Thank you.

Don’t Delay Downtown & Connect Our Neighborhoods

May 12, 2016

Shirley & Tim struggle to bike with their families in Seattle

Shirley & Tim struggle to bike with their families in Seattle

Just looking to help make a difference? Jump right to the call to action!

In Part 1 of our story, we left Tim wondering how to commute by bike with his baby daughter and left Shirley stranded with her children trying to cross Seattle’s most dangerous street, Rainier Ave S. In Part 2, we’ll explain how to rescue them.

The city has a good plan.

Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan is a 20-year plan (2014-2034). The plan “Proposes a network of bicycle facilities throughout the city that provides a way for people of all ages and abilities to travel by bicycle within their neighborhoods, from one neighborhood to the next, and across the city.” The plan’s performance targets include quadrupling the ridership by 2030, getting to zero traffic fatalities by 2030, and having “100% of households in Seattle within 1⁄4 mile of an all ages and abilities bicycle facility by 2035.”

Unfortunately, when it has come to implementing the bike plan, the public feels the city is falling short. Much has been written about the implementation plan already (Stranger, Bike Blog, CHSBlog, etc), but to recap why people are disappointed:

  1. The bike implementation plan pretends downtown doesn’t exist. The city makes no commitments to connect our major job center and our densest neighborhoods.
  2. Less is being built after passing the Move Seattle Levy than was originally projected before the levy was passed. This may be due to simple over-promising, but now people like Shirley and Tim are understandably disappointed.
  3. It seems that the routes which have been selected to be developed first in neighborhoods are low hanging fruit rather than the routes people need most to be able to safely get around.

So what would a robust implementation of a bike network look like?

Our city is growing fast. Our urban villages, the places our city has designated to grow the fastest, desperately need better transportation connections. We must build a network of trails, protected bike lanes, and neighborhood greenways that link our fastest growing neighborhoods together. We must provide safe, time competitive, and comfortable routes that entice people of all ages and abilities to try biking for some of their daily transportation needs.

Here’s a concept of what a connected network would look like that links all of Seattle’s Urban Villages:
Urban Village Bike Map small

We can build this. This represents about 60 miles of high quality safe routes for biking – or about the same number of miles the Move Seattle Levy promises over the next five years.

We can’t wait any longer to build a network downtown. We can’t wait any longer to build the important routes that people like Shirley and Tim need most to get between neighborhoods. Join us and the Cascade Bicycle Club in calling on the city to improve the bicycle implementation plan!

You can make a difference!

Here’s how:

Take Your Bike to Lunch Day at City Hall

What: RSVP Bring your sack lunch & your bike to City Hall at 12 p.m. Let Seattle City Council know we can’t wait longer for safe connected streets. Help fill the main 5th Avenue entrance of City Hall with your bikes and write postcards to Seattle City Council telling your stories.  
When: Tuesday, May 17 at 12 p.m.
Where: Seattle City Hall main atrium [Get Directions]

Testify At Seattle City Council

What: RSVP to testify on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Seattle City Council Transportation Committee to let Council know we can’t wait for safe streets. Cascade will help you sign up to exercise your democratic rights to speak to our elected leaders.
When: Tuesday, May 17 at 2 p.m. Arrive at 1:45 p.m. to get on the speaking list, meeting begins at 2 p.m.
Where: Seattle City Hall – Council Chamber [Get Directions]

Really fired up? RSVP now!

City Hall

See you at City Hall!

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